Practicing With Play-Alongs

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

The time you spend practicing hand and foot technique, drum rudiments, drum beats and fills boils down to the moments you apply it all to music. Playing along to music is one of the coolest ways to practice and spend a hell of a good time behind a drum set. It helps develop your skill set a lot better because of its fun factor. However, there has to be a more structured approach to practicing with drum play-alongs; you have to do more than just jamming along. In this free live drum lesson Dave Atkinson addresses this topic by teaching how to use drum play-alongs and songs for improving virtually every aspect of your drumming.

The idea behind this free drum lesson is showing you alternative ways to practice using drum play-alongs. Basically, Dave Atkinson uses them as metronome tracks to practice his internal clock; hand, foot and showmanship techniques; odd-time drumming, beats, fills and different styles of drumming. This is a very different concept from playing for the song. This is a great solution for everyone who’s easily bored by metronomes. It’ll make your practice sessions way more enjoyable. To help you get started, Dave included five downloadable drum play-alongs in this free drum lesson. For more free drum play-alongs check FreeDrumLessons.com and the play-along library on DrumLessons.com.

Before applying this concept to your practice sessions, you have to organize your music library a bit differently. Store your favorite songs and play-alongs in folders and by tempo range: 70 BPM to 79 BPM, 80 BPM to 89 BPM, etc. For an accurate idea of the tempo at what a song was recorded use tap-tempo software that’s available for free on the Internet. Tap quarter notes as you listen to the track. Jot down the tempo you’re getting from the software one minute into the song. Then, add the tempo to the song’s file-name. This will only work for songs that have been recorded to a metronome.

Although these practice tips can be used on practice pads, they’re way more effective when combined with a drum set. If you don’t have an acoustic drum set because of volume issues, we encourage you to get your hands on an electronic drum set. If you’re not sure e-kits are for you, watch the free drum lesson “Practicing On V-Drums.”